I always liked The Go-Betweens right from the get-go…and so did my friend Pete Astor from the Loft, the Weather Prophets. In fact the first time I saw them we went together to what was then called The Rock Garden in London’s Covent Garden before it became fancy dan town. They were supporting The Laughing Clowns who were also great.

As you can see from pics below I started collecting everything they did. Recently a neighbour went to Australia and pointed me at the Right Here: Go-Betweens appreciation society on facebook.

This prompted me to revisit a 1993 recording which summed up my devotion then and now.

The songs turned into poetry and the budding songwriter became old and grey but I think this amongst my best songs and certainly the most poignant.

It describes my visit to a now derelict farm cottage near Wittenham Clumps in Oxfordshire. My childhood home when my father a farm labourer. Everything in the lyrics is true.

It originally was released as a cassette tape here the original description and cover…

‘LAST FARMER OF RATTLEDOWN ROW’ – 1993 Horseshoe Tape (HS 003)

The story behind the songs…

The Big Time! Moved back to London -got my Fostex working overtime ( well three out of four channels anyway) and made the tape that would ensure I’d go down as the Berkshire Hank Williams! Ended up playing some pretty ridiculous gigs with a drunken bunch of HIGH PRIESTS which gained some attention and a debut 7″(click name to see full story).

Thought I was Tom Waits/ Raymond Carver and the ghost of Old Hank Williams until I sent out the tapes to all and sundry and received just two replies from a head honcho at EMI believe it or not who said the words were good -the music and singing not -and someone at Roundtower Records who was too polite to tell me I wasn’t the next Tom Russell but who sent me some of Tom’s discs anyway (for guidance?) so that made me feel a lot better.

Guess what …I still think 26 years later that I’m the Berkshire ghost of Hank Williams…too late to stop now……………..and there’s a bloke down the chip shop swears he’s Elvis…no really he’s the spitting image……

Track ‘City of stars’ renamed ‘Big City Nights’ on re-release CD

 

My heart is buried under a floor of wood…..here the song Floor of Wood lyrics and track on Soundcloud

FLOOR OF WOOD

 

This house was built of planks ten years after the war

I spent my childhood days watching the wind blowing the straw

As the sixties twisted away and the motorways came

I would stand at the window playing with toy cars in the rain

 

This time I’m really leaving these green fields for good

But I’ll leave my heart under this floor of wood

 

Slate roof is full of holes, the walls are covered in rambling rose

Nothing lives here now but the ghosts

I push a broken door against broken plaster and ash

And watch the wind blow through windows all smashed

 

This time I’m leaving these green fields for good

But I’ll leave my heart underneath this floor of wood

 

Since I was a boy England has drifted from fields to city

All these cornfields been turned to golf courses or light industry

Plaster crumbles and dusts my shoes just like chalk

I walk away, scratches on my arm, I try to close the door.

 

This time I’m leaving these green fields for good

But I’ll leave my heart buried under this floor of wood

 

© shaun belcher – horseshoe songs 1993